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Ski Conditioning Specialist?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
In the "Elephant" thread that is going on forever, someone made a comments about the PGA, that seems to have a wealth of resources. I commented that there are a gazillion Golf Conditioning Specialist Certifications, but nothing for Ski Conditioning.

If such a program were to exist, what do you think would be crucial topics to be covered?

My thoughts:

The PHYSICS of skiing.

The BIOMECHANICS of skiing

How changes in terrain effect biomechanics.

How boot fit effects biomechanics.

How ski shape effects biomechanics

Thermo regulation

Effects of altitude

Nutrition for skiing

The above topics seem to be more of the domain of ski instrutors, but IMHO, I have seen trainers who obviously do not ski design some of the most clueless programs for skiers!

Students who are taking a trip out west will often ask the fitness staff questions about altitude preparation.

In terms of bootfit, Gordon at solesystems has spoken at length about how certain athletic foot wear actually destroys the muscles of the foot for skiing.

Other toics would include:

The work from Vermont Ski Safety

Injury prevention

Post rehab exercise

Posture and alignment

The integration of STRENGTH, BALANCE, FLEXIBILITY,
and STABILITY

Exercises for VISUAL ACUITY {Feldenkrais}

AGILITY AND COORDINATION

PLYOMETRICS

Ski specific cardio conditioning

Myofascial {SP?} self release; self massage use foam rollers

Perform Better could supply all the strength and balnce toys. They do this at many workshops, as a means of promoting their stuff.

I'm sure I've forgotten something!

Your input???
post #2 of 24
Addtional thoughts:
Training in psychomotor skills
Teaching/Learning styles
Our all time favorite-anxiety/fear/terror control
Nutrition during skiing
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
In terms of bootfit, Gordon at solesystems has spoken at length about how certain athletic foot wear actually destroys the muscles of the foot for skiing.
Please elaborate! I've never heard that before. I think some of my foot muscles have been compromised (I'd hesitate to say destroyed), what could have caused this?
post #4 of 24
epic,

in my case, nerve damage, leaving "dead zones." proprieoception exercises are slowly burning some traces of life into those dead zones. no quick-fix.
post #5 of 24
Gadzooks, keep it simple please, I started dozing off half way through the list.

I can handle:
a. Get in shape
b. Stay in shape
c. Enjoy the heck out of skiing

Well, it's time to put away this bag of chocolate and get back to work (I worked out over lunch so it's OK).
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Epic, its some freaky stuff! I don't remember all the details, but athletic footwear nowadays has so much "stuff" in it that it actually destroys the proprioception in the feet. There was also some stuff about how the transvers arch gets messed up from some footwear, making it difficult to hold an edge.

[ April 18, 2002, 12:51 PM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Afterthought: The anxiety stuff would seemingly be the work of the ski instructor. But consider this: Imbalanced musculature leads to faulty breathing patterns. Faulty breathing patterns can create a "physical" sensation of anxiety, even if the person was not feeling that way. This is when it becomes the fitness instructors job.
post #8 of 24
Mmmm-hmmm... please excuse my ignorance, but what is proprioception, and does it realte to skiing at all?
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by JimBobBubba:
Gadzooks, keep it simple please, I started dozing off half way through the list.

I can handle:
a. Get in shape
b. Stay in shape
c. Enjoy the heck out of skiing

Well, it's time to put away this bag of chocolate and get back to work (I worked out over lunch so it's OK).
Hey...don't forget sex and alcohol.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Proprioception is defined as the awareness of posture, movement, and changes in equilibrium, as well as the knowledge of position, weight, and resistance of objects in relation to the body.

Does it relate to skiing at all? Hell yes!!! Since you are not staring down {hopefully} at your boots when you ski, it is proprioception that enables you to put your skis on edge, and adapt to different changes in terrain.

Proprioception begins in the feet. Ski instructors often talk about the kinetic chain. If there is something going on in the feet that is not quite right, the rest of the body will be effected. Its a chain effect.

Remember!! Being a pronator can set you up for an ACL injury. And in SOME cases, pronation is a proprioceptive problem, as well as a muscular problem.

This is one of the reasons that traditional weight equipment training, while being great for muscular strength, is not the OPTIMAL form of conditioning for skiing. The proprioceptive mechanism is numb! This would especially apply to something like a leg exetension machine, where your feet are not in contact with the floor. This exercise is working counter intuitively to the kinetic chain, and in some cases, can set up an incorrect recruitment for skiing.

Example: The person who INIATES ALL turns from their leg muscles, rather than their feet.

So to sum it up, skiing is so much more about proprioception, and so much less about muscle.

If it were ONLY about muscle, how would someone like Bonni, who has MS, be able to ski at all?????
post #11 of 24
Oh, I thought it was bending your toes or metatarsals or something like that. You know what helps my proprioception? Walking in the woods with nightvision goggles on. With no depth perception and onlyt a 40 degree field of view it really gives your balance a workout.

Anyway, I guess you are saying that athletic shoes have so much support that they take away the first link in the chain? Ski boots do too though don't they? When I was in high-school I would be shoeless all summer. I imagine that is good for you too. Those Kenyan runners must have awesome proprioception.
post #12 of 24
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
The Kenyan runners can teach us a whole lot about proprioception. Many of the balance oriented ski conditioning exercises are done in bare feet.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Another question, and I am aware that you folks are not really the audience for this, since you are n ot fitness instructors. But you usually have good insight, so here goes.

Do you think it would be more marketable if it was a snowsports conditioning certification, as opposed to just skiing?

Thanks!
post #15 of 24
Nah

The cover doesn't change the book.

But if you charge more under the different name, some "people" will feel it's something special.

CalG
post #16 of 24
Nah

The cover doesn't change the book.

But if you charge more under the different name, some "people" will feel it's something special.

CalG
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Good point! Acually, I was referring to the idea of selling out and making it ski and snowboard conditioning.
post #18 of 24
Does anyone know what kind of athletic shoes are good vs. bad? Should we all revert back to our old Chuck Taylors and Keds?
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
That is probably not something that could be answered within the realm of this forum, since what is good for some people, may be bad for someone else.

The main issue is that sometimes shoes have features that are designed to correct "problems" that do not exist.

A good example would be aerobic shoes. Most have an anti pronation device. But I don't pronate. Also, there is a certain degree of natural pronation and supination that happens in every sport. How much of it should be corrected is still a subject that is being explored.

But bringing this back on to topic, that's why I think fitness pros who train for snow sport need to be aware of these issues. You can build up the strongest hamstrings and quads immaginable, but if your clent is developing foot abnomalitie because of their athletic shoes, you will not really do all that much for their skiing.
post #20 of 24
OK, so I'm about 4 days late on this but I'd like to add a few things.

First, I like the snowsports moniker. Although I don't snowboard I do ski, skiboard, ride twin tips and visit the pipe occasionally. I also believe the inclusion of conditioning that would benefit boarders would also benefit skiers. As skiers we tend to "think inside the box" way too much thus himdering our ability to grow through inclusion of outside influences on our sport.

Next, I'm certain Lisamarie included these conditioning elements in the opening thread but I lost them in the context. The things I have used most effectively to condition myself and my friends for skiing are:

- Flexible strength programs that increase range of motion and strength throughout the entire range.
- Development of core muscle groups through movements like Pilates and yoga.
- Development of rotary muscle groups - particularly the obliques.
- Aerobic capacity increase - any heart rate training that is available.

Aar
post #21 of 24
Originally posted by epic:
Mmmm-hmmm... please excuse my ignorance, but what is proprioception, and does it realte to skiing at all?
____________________________
Boston area women just enjoy throwin' in the dirty talk now and then...from outta' the blue. [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #22 of 24
epic:

Lisamarie did a good job a defining proprioception. But it is a difficult concept with varied definitions. Here are my thoughts on the issue. Forgive the untimeliness of the post.

Proprioception might be defined as the awareness of body position and movement, or kinaesthetic awareness, or a sense of joint position. Proprioception integrates all the sensory systems including feedback from muscles tendons and joints, the visual system, touch and pressure, and the vestibular system.

Skiing is a true proprioception sport. In skiing proprioception is not just important it can be life critical. When skiing the super steeps, 45+ degree slopes, the skier must have the ability to understand exactly how his body is positioned with respect to the steep slope, gravity, snow, whether the snow is sliding against itself or not. The skier must also understand exactly how his body is positioned joint upon joint and exert precise muscular tension to contain his body in the very small “safe” balance area. The skier must also have a precise understanding of how his equipment will react to his muscular input and how the equipment interacts with his body, really how the boot/foot react together.

All of this information comes from disparate neural sensors. For example, forward pressure on the boot tongue, ball of the foot or heal of the foot pressure, vestibular balance, visual balance, arm extension to pole plant, “gut sensations” of motion (usually in snow sliding on snow situations), head cant and inclination all mix in the brain to provide a single instantaneous understanding of precise position and the exact muscle tension necessary the ski the slope.

Do skiers need to focus on proprioceptive conditioning? Yes, although if you are skiing the intermediate terrain it is less important than if you are skiing the steeps, bumps, or racing. Good training will dramatically reduce joint injuries, make skiing easier, and make many daily activities easier and more efficient. In another thread, there was a long discussion about martial arts training and its positive affect on skiing. I suspect that it is the proprioceptive component, as much as anything that accounts for this positive affect.

This is the primary reason that it takes so long to become a good skier. It also requires practice and experience to permit the brain to interpret the neural information. I am always amazed that we as humans are even capable of performing these internal calculations.
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Aar, you are describing, in essence, the way I teach.

Maddog, excellent, excellent, excellent! You grasp a point which many have difficulty with. Motor learning is neuroligical. Take a look at the Kinetic chain thread in this forum. Many people get into trouble when their sports conditioning programs are based EXCLUSIVELY on strength, without any elements of balnce and proprioception.

A really fun way to train is to integrate your routine. Start with a traditional strength training exercise such as a leg press. Immediately afterwards, do a set of squats on a wobble board, core board, or dyna disc. Then, perform a plyometric type exercise, such as a tuck jump.

Much less boring, and far more effective for sport than simply doing multiple sets!
post #24 of 24
Originally posted by Lisamarie:

In terms of bootfit, Gordon at solesystems has spoken at length about how certain athletic foot wear actually destroys the muscles of the foot for skiing.

Your input???

______________________________
Hey LM,
Sounds like you got little groomer_boy Gordy
drunk behind the sailboards....
He'd say AnYtHiNg....so get another sell...
DoWn ArOuNd Boston, anyone can be a pro....
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